TECHNICAL NOTES - Ethics
The electrical engineering curriculum in most accredited engineering schools in this country is so crowded that there is no room for courses such as engineering ethics, economics, or law. Part of the problem is that most engineering professors are not prepared to introduce engineering ethics into their classrooms.
The days when an engineer's only ethical commitment was loyalty to his or her employer have long passed. Society in general tends to hold the engineering profession to an elevated standard and expects practicing engineers to perform on a higher ethical plane. Society holds engineers accountable for their actions. And for engineers, the implications are inescapable.
As members of the engineering profession, engineers are expected to exhibit the highest standards of honesty and integrity. Engineering has a direct and vital impact on the quality of life for all people. Engineers must perform under a standard of professional behavior that requires adherence to the highest principles of ethical conduct. The ability to discern right from wrong in cases of apparent ethical dilemma is important. With ethics, there is frequently no absolute right answer, just a personal best answer. Ethics poses dilemmas, which force hard moral choices and cause us to deal with values.
Each professional engineering society has some form of ethical code. Here is a combination of some.
• Accept personal responsibility consistent with the safety, health, and welfare of the public.
• Conduct themselves responsibly, ethically, and lawfully so as to enhance the honor, reputation, and usefulness of the profession.
• Be guided in all relations by the highest standards of honesty and integrity.
• Reject bribery in all its forms.
• Perform professional services only in areas of your competence.
• Conform with state registration laws in the practice of engineering.
• Treat fairly all colleagues and co-workers regardless of their race, religion, gender, age, or national origin.
So far in this book, we have been dealing with deterministic signals, i.e. signals which can be expressed explicitly so that they can be determined at all times. However, most of the signals we deal with in practice are random (unpredictable or erratic) and not deterministic. Random signals are encountered in one form or another in every practical communication system.